The Charleston Outdoor Fest returns to the James Island County Park

CHARLESTON S.C. (WCBD) — If outdoor competitions, activities and instructional lessons excite you…this event is sure to please. The James Island County Park will be celebrating 27 years of outdoor fun and exhilaration, at the Charleston Outdoor Fest, Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23. 

This three-day event will feature one of the country’s premier showcases of canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (SUP). This one of a kind outdoor event doesn’t end there. The Charleston Outdoor Fest will also host a multitude of recreation activities like mountain biking, slack lining, archery, climbing, and disc golf.

On Friday, April 21, the festival’s East Coast Paddlesports Symposium kicks off with programs, events and classes held throughout the weekend. Keynote speaker for the symposium will be renowned kayaker, adventurer and master storyteller Nigel Dennis. During this dynamic evening session on Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m., Dennis will share 35 years of stories about wild sea kayaking experiences, close shaves, major expeditions, kayak design and the history of modern sea kayaking. The keynote session will be at James Island County Park’s Edisto Hall and is open to the public and free with park admission.

The symposium brings together enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels with world-renowned instructors and sports equipment manufacturers. Participants can sign up for classroom presentations and on-water classes from the world’s top instructors in dozens of paddlesports-related topics. Programs range from beginner to expert level skill classes, to sessions on topics like birding by boat, kayak rolling, fishing, photography and much more.

On Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23, the festival’s family-friendly Try It Zone will be open for participants to try out select outdoor sports at James Island County Park. Participants can try their hand at archery, a bike obstacle course, a mountain bike short track, the Challenge Zone (activities and brain teasers), disc golf, climbing, the slackline course, and a cardboard canoe race (Sunday). Plus, Try It pass holders can demo kayaks, SUPs, and canoes on site. The Try It Zone is open Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. A Try It Zone pass is $10 per person; children 12 and under are $8 with an accompanying adult.

Saturday’s nationally sanctioned Palmetto Pump Climbing Competition will feature amazing climbing action at the park’s Climbing Wall. Some of the Southeast’s best will compete throughout the day, and the competition is also open for public registration.

Visitors to the weekend’s events will also enjoy a festival atmosphere, including live music throughout Saturday and Sunday, and the Vendor Village, where leading manufacturers and outfitters exhibit a wide variety of products.

All are invited to experience what is sure to be another successful Charleston Outdoor Fest.

Register for symposium program packages online or stop by the James Island County Park.

For more information, including event schedules, visit or call 843-795-4386.

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